Vettel and Alonso both worthy champions, say rivals

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Hockenheim, 2012Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso would both be worthy world champions whichever of them wins the title this year, according to their rivals.

Speaking in the press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Jenson Button said: “They’ve both done a fantastic job this year.

“You would say throughout the season Fernando has probably been – well, he has been, the more consistent.

“The last few races, yeah, it’s been a great job by Red Bull but also a great job by Sebastian. He’s been given the equipment and he’s delivered.

“Your don’t win Grands Prix on your own, you don’t win championships on your own. So whoever comes out on top is the driver who deserves to win it.”

Alonso’s team mate Felipe Massa said he has done “an incredible job” this year.

“Sebastian as well,” Massa added. “Especially in the second part of the championship. So I think we are not talking about one guy which has many victories, the other one not. We are talking about two drivers and one of them who win we would say he deserves it.”

“But anyway, I hope Fernando will win,” he concluded.

Daniel Ricciardo said the outcome of the title contest is not a foregone conclusion despite Vettel increasing his lead in the last race:

“I think this season’s been very hard to judge. It’s been a very exciting season and I think anything can happen. So even if it is the case that the package of Vettel, himself and the car, is better at this stage, it still doesn’t confirm a world championship. You have to get it done on Sunday and there’s still three Sundays to go and things can happen.

“I think they’ve both had a little bit of bad luck this season. I think from now they’re going to go head-to-toe. Obviously Red Bull’s been the car to beat in the last four races or so. But I think the pace is always changing and Ferrari’s obviously got some good experience and good people behind them. So I’m sure a surprise is not impossible either.

“So we’ll see what happens. It’s exciting – I’d like to be a part of it.”

But Vitaly Petrov suspects Red Bull’s performance advantage will prove decisive: “I think it’s clear for me in the moment, today, the Red Bull car has a big advantage compared to Ferrari.

This year Alonso did a fantastic, incredible job at the beginning and he have a few crashes. But we know all of us, I think, Ferrari is not in the same place as Red Bull so it will be difficult for Ferrari but Ferrari also has a lot of passion to win and they bring a lot of updates so maybe this weekend or another weekend.

“I really don’t know but what I can see at the moment is Red Bull is a quicker car, that’s it.”

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111 comments on Vettel and Alonso both worthy champions, say rivals

  1. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 1st November 2012, 12:05

    Both deserve it.

    Alonso has been brilliant this season no doubt and so has Vettel even though people won’t admit it.

    Yes he won the races when his car was the best, but to win four in a row isn’t easy. People think it’s a walk in the park to win with that Red Bull but if it was then Webber couldn’t have been 9th, 11th, 2nd and 3rd in the races that Vettel won.

    People forget that Vettel had to get the results before the car was “dominant” and drives like Spa (11th to 2nd) aren’t mentioned at all. Even Valencia, he was unstoppable that weekend and lost an easy 25 points, so I don’t get how people can say he’s lucky to be leading the title now.

    Even so, there is no doubt Alonso is the star of the season. Two championships doesn’t do that guy justice.

    • Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 1st November 2012, 12:35

      Spa wasn’t the track he was unstoppable from 11th to 2nd, many of the front runners who were for the win, got taken out by Grosjean, and Vettel was left to beat the easy ones

    • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 14:47

      At Spa, Vettel only overtook Weeber and Massa, that’s why he wasn’t mention. Don’t compare Vettel and Webber performnace in the race, because Webber isn’t fighting with Vettel at all. At Singapore Webber didn’t performed as the same level as vettel, but at Suzuka(11th-grosj acident), korea(2’nd-protected Vettel at the start) and india(3’rd-kers problem) had the same pace. It’s easy when you have better car.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 19:13

        @sorin , @wackyracer And Vettel beat Kimi, who started 3rd in the Lotus, and most likely would have been ahead of quite a few of the guys that crashed out.

        • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 20:39

          Raikkonen did a pit stop more than Vettel, and he lost a lot of time behind Schumacher, who couldn’t be beaten in straights, and Vettel took advantage of this. He had to make that move in “S”, to overtake Schumacher. In that race Raikkonen did more than he could, but he didn’t expect to lose a lot of time behind Mercedes, which is not his fault.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 21:19

            @sorin – And yet Vettel could easily have done a 2 stopper like Raikkonen, and like his own teammate did, but he dealt with a chunk of cars, all while looking after his tyres. Raikkonen did well thatday, but Vettel made the difference, simple as that.

          • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 21:44

            @david-a If Vettel is so skillful, like you say, why he didn’t reapeat the same manouver at Hungary? Because there, Raikkonen looked after his tyre, much better than him. And I don’t think Vettel lost his skills after 2 weeks, and Raikkonen became skillfuness so quickly. They did the same number of pits… At Spa, the difference was been made by the low speed in straights of Lotus.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 22:05

            @sorin – Unlike Raikkonen in Hungary, though, Vettel made up a series of positions on track in Belgium. He beat Raikkonen, although that was through the stops, who was ahead of most of the cars taken out by Grosjean, so that, along with the passes he did/places he made up, is why @tommyb89 mentioned it as a great drive.

            And furthermore, in Japan, Webber wasn’t going to match Vettel’s pace. He qualified 0.3 down, and was behind Kobayashi when Grosjean hit him. In Korea, Webber vowed to try and win the race, and even had a go at Vettel after losing the lead. In India, he was exposed to Alonso since he wasn’t matching Vettel’s pace.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:18

            @sorin

            What are you on about? First of all, Vettel didn’t only overtake Massa and Webber. Second of all, Raikkonen in Hungary didn’t pass any car. He made his strategy work because he kept going after the others had pitted. He was also aided because of the Lotus’ race pace which was clearly best that day and a lot better than the Red Bull.
            Vettel passed 4 cars at Spa and almost passed Schumacher as well while looking after his tyres enough for him to make a one stop strategy work.
            That’s the difference. He fought with others AND preserved his tyres. Kimi just preserved his tyres in Hungary.

          • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:28

            @f1fannl

            Kimi just preserved his tyres in Hungary.

            which “made the difference”

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:35

            @sorin

            Did I say it didn’t?

            What I said was that Vettel preserved his tyres while fighting others…. Which “made the difference” between Vettel’s performance in Spa and Raikkonen’s performance in Hungary. That and Raikkonen having the car advantage in Hungary whereas Vettel did not have a car advantage in Spa.

        • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:50

          @f1fannl
          So when Vettel win, isn’t car advantage, but when he lose is car advantage for others.:))) By the way, car advantage don’t give you mind to preserve your tyres. Anyway, our one-to-one discussion are nonsens, we see things different. But, I think, you agree that Vettel’s car is better than others, at this moment.

          • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:51

            * is nonsense

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 1st November 2012, 23:01

            @sorin

            So when Vettel win, isn’t car advantage, but when he lose is car advantage for others.

            Where on earth have I said that??
            You O.K. there buddy because I think you might be seeing things.

            By the way, car advantage don’t give you mind to preserve your tyres.

            But it does help you post faster lap times in clean air. And driving around behind someone in dirty air absolutely doesn’t help tyre wear.

            But, I think, you agree that Vettel’s car is better than others, at this moment.

            I do. Red Bull has got an advantage in qualifying. Whether that’s the same in race pace I’m not so sure as the advantage in qualifying is mostly down to their double DRS allowing them to run a higher downforce setup. But starting from pole always gives an advantage. It makes the race a few meters shorter.

    • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 14:49

      Before the car was “dominant”, Vettel was 4’th Alonso 1’st

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st November 2012, 15:38

        Thats exactly the way I look at it. When no car in particular was dominating… we had Alonso outperforming all the other drivers. When the RB8 was back to its dominating form, we finally saw Vettel step it up.

        Maybe both drivers would be worthy champions… but one is one more deserving than the other.

        • tigen (@tigen) said on 1st November 2012, 17:45

          That’s not logical. There usually was a particular car dominating at one event or another and Red Bull wasn’t generally on top.

          To me the season is all about the DNFs (or non-scores). Look at Valencia alone: Vettel would almost surely have won the race, but a mechanical failure puts him out. Who wins? Nobody other than Alonso. You can’t say Alonso outperformed Vettel at that point but he went 25 points up. The Spa incident was just a reversal of fortune. Vettel also had misfortune in Italy and Malaysia. Alonso started and won from pole in Germany. Alonso crashed out of Japan, but he was at least 50% responsible for that.

          People have such selective memories. Why is there an implicit assumption that Alonso always gets the maximum, but Vettel for example doesn’t?

          • tigen (@tigen) said on 1st November 2012, 17:48

            I think it’s because Alonso frowns a lot and says the word “maximum”.

          • tigen (@tigen) said on 1st November 2012, 17:55

            Also about the DNF point, RAI is where he is purely because he has finished (and in the points) at every single race. HAM was doing alright but right around when the McLaren car was coming good, he had 4 non-scores/DNFs.

            I just noticed WEB has also finished every race. Just too far down the order, too many times. So, it’s not *only* about finishing.

          • tigen (@tigen) said on 1st November 2012, 17:59

            Final note on this subject: I really do feel the point gap from 1st to 2nd should be larger like it was in the old days.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 1st November 2012, 23:05

          People seem to believe the Alonso spin that his car has been useless all season. It hasn’t.
          Don’t get me wrong, Alonso has been immense this year, but after Spain the Ferrari has been very competitive on a great deal of circuits.

          • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 2nd November 2012, 4:27

            Which one? Both Ferraris, or only Fernando’s? Hard to say if Ferrari is competitive because they have a great car under them, or if Alonso is just dragging his car up there.

      • @sorin – alternator failure. Enough said.

        • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 20:42

          ok, to be more specific: before “dominant” car, Alonso-Vettel=40 points

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 22:22

            @sorin – It wasn’t really Vettel’s fault that he didn’t win in Valencia (+7 for Alonso, -25 for Vettel), and that he didn’t get 4th in Sepang (-12 for Vettel). There’s your 40 points.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:23

            @sorin

            Your speaking nonsense. Who was leading the championship after round 4? Vettel. Before the car was ‘dominant’.

            When did Alonso take the lead? After Valencia, because Vettel had an alternator failure. A difference of 32 points in Alonso’s favor.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 19:24

        @sorin – Only when Vettel’s alternators were failing and Karthikeyan was hitting him.

        • sorin (@) said on 1st November 2012, 20:47

          I remember that Vettel had tyre puncture because of Karthikeyan, exactly at a straight line distance to pits and I remeber that Alonso did not finish because of “first lap nutcase, Grosjean”. It’s big difference, DNF and tyre puncture.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 1st November 2012, 21:07

            @sorin

            exactly at a straight line distance to pits

            Nope. It happened at the exit of turn 8, which means he still had roughly half a lap to the pits.

            It’s big difference, DNF and tyre puncture.

            It depends. In this case the difference was nothing, as the puncture resulted in no points. He would get exactly the same number of points if Karthikeyan had knocked his rear suspension off his car.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 21:16

            @sorin – It might as well have been a DNF- it dropped him from 4th to 11th.

          • @sorin – we are specifically talking about before when Red Bull got into their stride. Vettel lost 25 points (and Alonso gained 7 so 32 points) in Valencia and 12 to Karthikeyan: total 42 points a.k.a more than Alonso’s championship lead. Spa/Monza is irrelevant since both lost out equally in my point of view.

    • Jayfreese (@) said on 1st November 2012, 15:18

      Lol Keith Collantine! “say rivals” ; are Pic, Petrov, Kobayashi, Ricciardo, or even Massa and Button rivals to Alonso and Vettel, because they were the ones interviewed on this topic, so i’m sure Pic and Petrov glad to be in a sentence with the word rival and Vettel! Maybe you write too much!

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st November 2012, 15:24

        @jayfreese There’s nothing wrong with the headline. They literally are all rivals. Pic and Ricciardo may not be likely to be in contention for race victories as Alonso and Vettel are (Button and Massa are more realistically) but they’re still competing in the same event.

        • Jayfreese (@) said on 1st November 2012, 15:44

          @keithcollantine you’re not wrong, nor right, they are kind of rivals, but I was expecting championship rivals only to be considered as rivals. So nothing wrong with the headline, but “drivers” would have been more appropriate. [ Last time I was reading an old ('05 or '06) interview of you saying you follow(ed) GP2 Series and there is quite nothing on this blog, so as long-time follower of it and GP3, I'd like to have/write a column about it here!] Sorry for the “you write too much” mate!

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st November 2012, 16:43

            Last time I was reading an old (’05 or ’06) interview of you saying you follow(ed) GP2 Series and there is quite nothing on this blog

            GP2 and GP3 news appears regularly in the forum

          • Jayfreese (@) said on 1st November 2012, 19:31

            GP2 and GP3 news appears regularly in the forum

            @andae23 Where mate? Show me!
            Yesterday there were GP2 test at Barcelona for next year, Rossi topped the test for Caterham Racing as he joins the series just like A.Pic, Abt, Evans, and Nasr joined Carlin for test, I didn’t see some of that here mate.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st November 2012, 19:36

            Here’s GP2 and here’s GP3. Both have been active in the past week. About the test: apparently no one is interessed in it enough to start a forum topic about the GP2 test, but if you want you can start the topic yourself.

    • @tommyb89 – I think for sure it has been a season of two halfs. Alonso was undoubtably the best driver of the first: he made no mistakes and always got the maximum out of his machinery, which at the seasons inception was a tricky beast to tame. He thoroughly deserved every point he scored (except from obviously the Valencia incident). Vettel was unlucky perhaps, but he did have his struggles early on.

      Then in the second half, Vettel has just turned his championship up a gear (coinciding with an improved car more capable of winning): he’s on a 4 race win streak and had lead over 200 laps in a row, rather shadowing Alonso in a car/driver combination that can’t match an on-form Vettel with the machinery to line up on pole (a particular weakness early on in the season).

      Both drivers have had their misfortunes, both drivers have had their upsides but the pendulum has perhaps decisively swung in Vettel’s favour: I would actually call the races before Singapore (excluding Valencia but obviously that didn’t go to plan) damage limitation, much as Alonso is now. Vettel has the team behind him to win the championship but I don’t think Alonso has at this current moment in time.

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 1st November 2012, 19:48

      @TommyB89 Couldn’t agree more. If Vettel wins the title this season it’ll be his best one yet.

      • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 1st November 2012, 21:22

        it’ll be most the satisfying if he gets it. People wanted him to win it without the best car and bang! He’s about to get it out of the oven to serve on the plate.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 1st November 2012, 23:07

          Trouble is, most people have short memories and will only remember the last 4 or 5 races when Newey and his team got it all together. I hope that is not the case.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd November 2012, 9:43

            Refresh your memory to how many circuits Red Bull was the fastest car at… Bahrain, Monaco, Valencia, Great Britain, Suzuka, Korea, India. Thats 7 out of the 17 races.
            Even on a bad weekend they were 2nd fastest or 3rd fastest car on the grid.

            Now you compare that to Ferrari.. who havent had the fastest car on any circuit so far this year. They have been the 2nd fastest car on four circuits this year – Malaysia, Monza, Great Britain and Germany. They have been 3rd or 4th fastest for the rest of the year on every other circuit.

            I dont think anyone has a short memory regarding the RB8’s performance.

            What annoys me is that Vettel fans can only defend the claim that Vettel has done the best job once the RB8 is upto speed and he’s back to winning. Halfway point through the season everyone was talking about how Alonso and Hamilton have been the class act of the season… but suddenly the RB8 is on the pace .. and magically Vettel has done the best job throughout the year.

            I don’t think its even

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd November 2012, 10:10

            @todfod

            Refresh your memory to how many circuits Red Bull was the fastest car at… Bahrain, Monaco, Valencia, Great Britain, Suzuka, Korea, India. Thats 7 out of the 17 races.
            Even on a bad weekend they were 2nd fastest or 3rd fastest car on the grid.

            I’d say that in Bahrain Lotus had the fastest race pace, and that RBR weren’t top 3 in Spain (Mclaren, Williams, Ferrari), Malaysia or Italy (Sauber, Ferrari, Mclaren).

            But, RB have been dominant across the season as a whole. IMO, Alonso was the class of the field in the first half of the season, with Hamilton (who at that point had the best car, but wasn’t leading the championship) and Vettel about even for 2nd. Now we have Vettel running away with the second half of the season doing what the Mclarens didn’t do.

    • @sorin – again, the Hungaroring is notorious for being incredibly difficult to overtake on (in fact I believe it is second only to Monaco). He was stuck behind Button for that reason and so couldn’t really challenge Kimi/Grosjean. Also, the Lotus’ race pace was arguably the quickest that weekend, if not second to McLaren.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 1st November 2012, 23:02

      I agree with @tommyb89 . If Alonso had gone from 11th to 2nd, regardless of who was taken out we would be hailing a genius.

      It’s easy to put Vettel’s success all down to the car, but he’s beaten Webber consistently this year.

      I’m not a big fan of Vettel, but I do think he will be a worthy 3-time champion – he’s beaten his team-mate every year in F1.

      I do think he will have to one day move on from the Red Bull set up if he wants to be remember as a ‘great’ however.

      • MercedesSpeedster said on 9th November 2012, 6:03

        What… No he hasn’t? Webber was leading him in points going into the summer break, and had a win over him. Which championship have you been watching? Please, please, PLEASE, analyze things from an unbiased point of view, regardless of who you prefer winning.

    • Njack (@njack) said on 2nd November 2012, 2:11

      Yes he won the races when his car was the best, but to win four in a row isn’t easy. People think it’s a walk in the park to win with that Red Bull but if it was then Webber couldn’t have been 9th, 11th, 2nd and 3rd in the races that Vettel won.

      Singapore he inherited the win while Webber had his race strategy ruined by 2 safety cars(was only going to be fifth at best though), Japan Webber was Grosjeaned at the second corner, Korea he was second and India he would have been second without the KERS issue. So remove Vettel from the last 3 races and Webber wins without any of the issues he had occurring, aka make it through the first lap intact and the driver will be able to pull away.

      People forget that Vettel had to get the results before the car was “dominant” and drives like Spa (11th to 2nd) aren’t mentioned at all. Even Valencia, he was unstoppable that weekend and lost an easy 25 points, so I don’t get how people can say he’s lucky to be leading the title now.

      His Spa drive was probably his best of the season for me, but grosjean took out five cars ahead of him and Webbers reward for outqualifying him was to start behind on used tyres thanks to his gearbox penalty.

      All that being said though, Vettel deserve his current lead in the championship, as in my table for the championship adjusted for points lost/gained through good/bad fortune I have him leading Hamilton by 35 points.

      He’s unlikely to get any credit from his detractors until he moves to the same team as Alonso/Hamilton or wins ala Schumi in ’95 or Hamilton in ’08 where cars were relatively equal.

  2. Girts (@girts) said on 1st November 2012, 12:08

    Agree and would like to say that about Hamilton, too.

    • Im a Ferrari fan and for me Vettel and Hamilton are both drivers who fought against Ferrari so i don’t support or like any of them.
      But personally if Alonso lose the title i would like Hamilton to win it.
      I think Hamilton over the year has been more performant than Vettel.
      Dont get me wrong Vettel fans, but this is the opinion of a guy who doesn’t support Ham or Vet. So can be see it as a neutral opinion.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 1st November 2012, 13:34

        I’m already now looking forward to the 2012 F1 Fanatic driver rankings. Vettel has been extremely strong after the summer break so I expect heated discussions about the top positions, however they may look like.

  3. sozavele (@formula-1) said on 1st November 2012, 12:21

    As a fan it is easy for me to say I want Alonso to be WDC, especially as he has lead the championship for the majority of the season, but as a general spectator I can say Vettel deserves to be WDC as his performance over the last few races has been brilliant.

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 1st November 2012, 12:38

    The question of “who deserved it more” or “who is more worthy a winner” is completely irrelevant. The driver who gets the most points at the end of the season wins and that driver deserves it. Simple. The quality of the car a driver is driving is just not a factor. To say Vettel doesn’t deserve this title (or the two that preceded it) because he is in the quicker car is nonsense. Frankly so is the argument that Alonso deserves it more because the Ferrari is a bit off the pace. Did Jim Clark not deserve his titles? Or Fangio? Or Lauda? Or Senna? Or Prost? Or Schumacher? It’s no accident that the best drivers get the best cars. Fans will always say one driver “deserved it more than another” but at the end of the day the scoreboard says who wins.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 1st November 2012, 12:57

      Agreed. A car doesn’t drive itself plus superior machinery needs a driver with the competence of delivering the results the machinery deserves & Vettel has proven time & time again to be one.

    • asherway (@asherway) said on 1st November 2012, 13:47

      I think the question of “who deserves it more” is very relevant. The problem is, we have a World Driver’s Championship, the title of which suggests that there is a prize for the best driver of the year. But in reality, the car is still a huge factor in who wins this “Driver’s” title. We have a Constructor’s Championship, which rewards the best team/car without too much ambiguity. But we simply don’t have that for drivers. So that naturally begs the question: if you removed this huge car factor, who would then win the Driver’s title?

      • Fernando Alonso

        • Arrrang (@arrrang) said on 1st November 2012, 17:38

          +1 that was a quick and honest answer ;)

        • @fanser – I say Vettel: one major problem with jumping to conclusions is that there is no way to tell which is the right conclusion. We have no equal comparison between Vettel and Alonso at this moment in time, so until we do it is just speculation.

          • justin rose said on 12th November 2012, 21:03

            I agree somewhat

            We do have a comparison, highly simple and probably stupid, but its all I have got and, is worthy with some of the stupid discussion and drivel on these F1 blogs.

            BBC – top gear, has the reasonably priced car. SV beat LH by over 0.3 (that’s a fact) of a second on a damp track = SV is at least if not a hair quicker than LH, and we all know that LH had FA running from Mclaren. FA still moans on the radio, don’t you hear him during the races :). So there is probably not much too choose if you put them in the same car, you decide. Until that happens, all the rest is Hypotheticals.

            By the way, is it a conicidence that the best drivers, most of the time, have the best cars, eventually – no. Remember SV in Torro Rosso wining a GP with a midfield car, that’s why RB have him now, the same over the years can be applied to greats incl Alonso, Schumi (poached from jordan), Senna (poached from Lotus), Prost …….

            Also, here is a pause for thought, some technically gifted drivers help develop a car quicker and better than others. If Ferrari, Mclr, are behind the curve you can also apportion blame to drivers for not giving adequate feedback to engineers and designers on what they want. Yes, there is not as much testing, but they have far more races than 90s. When Schumi arrived at Ferrari (1996), he won 3 races in a piece of junk, over the next years the car was developed , together with engineers and designers – but in part to his constructive feedback, on the type of things he needed in a car.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 1st November 2012, 23:10

          I’ve often thought an ‘end of the season’ kart or touring car race would be fun with all the drivers having to take part.

          I’m surprised Bernie hasn’t thought of this already… think of the TV audience.

      • @asherway – I doubt we will ever get a true answer to that question. F1 would have to be a spec series for that to happen but the problem is that F1 is as much about the teams as the drivers (unlike in GP2/WSR F3.5). I think to put the likely contenders for best F1 driver in the same car would be very interesting indeed though.

        If we can judge anything from the F1 board on Top Gear, Vettel is quicker than Button and perhaps Hamilton (although he was in the wet)!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd November 2012, 6:23

      I do feel like arguing a bit about some of those schumi titles @geemac ;-), but otherwise I think you nailed it here.

      Part of being the best (at least results wise) is also choosing to be in the right team at the right time. And I think Vettel is an integral part of making the Red Bull team as good as they currently are. Just as Schumi was part of Ferrari, Mika Hakkinen of McLaren and all the other examples of world champions.

      I do think that Alonso might have been performing outstandingly good this year and possibly the best driver as such, but its not just about the driver, its about the combination. And he did have the luxury of having a teammate that served more to test things, even during races than having to fight him for poles or wins. Both had their share of bad luck and thoroughly deserve winning it.

  5. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 1st November 2012, 13:11

    Accuse me of Vettel hating, but this year has Alonso all along written on it. Vettel overcame him only when RBR gain advantage big enough to lock the front row three times in a row. Vettel needs this advantage to compete for WDC, Alonso can fight for the title even having a car a bit behind the front runners. In my opinion 2012 proved Vettel is much more dependent on the machinery than his top competitors. I have to agree with Alonso, that again, he’s not fighting Vettel, but primarily he’s fighting another fantastic car from Newey. As much as I think driver-wise Alonso is more deserving, the Red Bull Racing team is by far a deserved champion, the sheer brilliance of their technical staff lead by Newey is remarkable. Vettel of course drove this masterpiece and earned his lead in WDC, but it resembles more the Ferrari 2002 and 2004 era when the car was so fast that even Rubens was untouchable.

    • @cyclops_pl – what you have forgotten is that Vettel, as well as Alonso, didn’t have the fastest car for the large majority of this season. Were it not for the Valencia incident though he would have been right up there with Alonso before his dominant streak.

      The Milton Keynes boys have undoubtably done more to deserve this championship than anyone else: they have just been impeccable recently (the same couldn’t be said for the Woking team). Ferrari have done a great job early on to make a car capable of 8th place into a car capable of podiums, but that surge has turned into a ripple. The performance gaining has just stopped.

      I don’t agree with your last statement though: the RB8 is nowhere near as dominant as the F2002/4. That car won by minutes frequently, Vettel has never been more than 20 seconds ahead (in fact usually less than 10).

      I honestly think Vettel hasn’t had the chance to prove to everyone he can drive a mediocre car, because he has never really had one (bar the first half of the season): what he has down though is win in a Toro Rosso. Alonso in fairness also hasn’t had a bad car since Spain – it’s not as if he’s performing miracles.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st November 2012, 19:22

      In my opinion 2012 proved Vettel is much more dependent on the machinery than his top competitors.

      Yeah, the Mclaren drivers couldn’t even lead the championship with the best car for 1/2 the season.

      And if anyone is thinking of disagreeing with my statement, then it is no more inaccurate or unfair than claiming the RB8 is like the F2002/4.

      • @david-a to be perfectly fair, I think Hamilton’s team largely let him down, but Button had a huge slump in performance – that was driver only. I agree with you though: McLaren have had the quickest car for most of the year and unlike Red Bull did in 2010/11 they haven’t used it to win a championship/s.

        The F2002/4 was hugely more dominant than the RB8 is as I have said before: Schumacher finished on the podium in every race, Vettel has been on the podium 8 times so far (and half of them weren’t in the fastest car that weekend).

        Vettel has been pretty consistent in his points scoring and it is now starting to pay dividends and he is leading the championship. Red Bull also deserve the constructors as McLaren shot themselves in the foot: they had the quickest car and they threw it away.
        I have tallied the points for McLaren during a period in which they were the fastest [Hungary-Italy] and Red Bull [Japan-India]. McLaren scored 83 points, Red Bull scored 110. This perhaps isn the greatest example as there were racing incidents / mechanical failures in some incidents but it does give an indication as to the amount of points McLaren have thrown away.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 1st November 2012, 22:29

      Vettel needs this reliability to compete for WDC with which Alonso can fight for the title even having a car a bit behind the front runners.

      There. Fixed.

  6. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 1st November 2012, 13:17

    They are both worthy. But in my view Alonso would be much more worthy. Applies to this year only.

  7. McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 1st November 2012, 13:20

    I’m gutted that the fight has stretched away from Hamilton due to mistakes but I agree that both Alonso and Vettel deserve it.
    I’m a bit of an Alonso-hater (maybe not hater, but I’m not his biggest fan) but I would like to see him take the title over Vettel this year, hopefully Ferrari can give him a car to challenge Vettel over the next three races!

    • John H (@john-h) said on 1st November 2012, 23:13

      I’m probably in the same boat. I’ve never really forgiven Alonso for his behviour in 2007, but at the same time I appreciate he is probably the best driver out there at the moment and deserves a lot of respect.

      To be honest, since I’ve been following his twitter account I’m starting to quite like the guy.

  8. The Limit said on 1st November 2012, 13:38

    As far back as I can remember, the driver who ends up with the championship has usually had the best car and overall package. That is motor racing! So when I read about Vettel and how some put his success down to the ‘car’ only, I can only laugh. When I think of Senna or Hakkinen, Mansell or even Michael Schumacher, they all won titles when they had the best machinery available to them. Vettel is no different, and I think he is smart enough to appreciate the advantage he has and has put it to devastating effect. You rarely see him lock up a tyre or run wide, very seldom does he make mistakes which is a far cry from say 2009 for instance. Back then, at times, he looked more like Roman Grosjean than a future world champion.
    Alonso on the other hand is a different case. At the start of the season, many had written Ferrari off due to the terrible problems they had with their car. As the season has progressed, they, largely due to Fernando’s driving, have improved to the extent that they are contending for the championship. A far cry from McLaren, who started the year so strongly only for their season to come apart. Neither of their drivers are a factor anymore which only highlights the progress Ferrari and Alonso have made since Melbourne.
    I always felt that 1993 was Aryton Senna’s best season. He didn’t claim the championship, but some of his drives in a inferior McLaren were a joy to behold. Being able to challenge Williams, the much more dominant package, was in itself every bit as impressive as the three seasons in which he won the title.
    Alonso has earned alot of respect I feel for his efforts in 2012, even from fans who openly admit to not liking the man but still appreciate talent when they see it.
    To say one driver deserves it more than the other is unfair. We should be happy as fans that, come what may, we will leave Brazil with a triple world champion cut from the sale cloth as the great Aryton Senna. And Fangio, Stewart, Schumacher, Prost, and all the other drivers who have won the title more than twice. It really is quite an achievement!

    • Senna all the way said on 1st November 2012, 15:30

      Agreed with Senna in ’93. Even though he didn’t win, it was good to see him take wins from them – especially at Monaco – his 6th win. Prost with the faster car was on pole, but jumped the start – was he scared that Senna might catch him?

  9. Alex Lewis (@lewis465151) said on 1st November 2012, 14:05

    Hmm, i may be a Alonso fan, but i think Vettel has done a great job in the past 4 races, Both of them have done some great drives through the year. For example Alonso’s fantastic win in Valencia from 11th And Vettel’s drive in Spa to finish 2nd. Both have had there bad luck this year, but you can’t be a champion of you don’t face the down parts of your career. But in my opinion i would like Alonso to win his first title for Ferrari. Oh and to add to that at the start of the year, no one expected Alonso to be challenging for the title as the F2012 was slow at the start. Just shows that you can be a good driver in a bad car! This season has been one of my favourites!

  10. Basheer Ahamad (@scuderiabasheer) said on 1st November 2012, 14:06

    +1. especially the part about ayrton senna.

  11. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 1st November 2012, 15:41

    An interesting online article by Motor Sport on Vettel here

  12. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 1st November 2012, 16:25

    now that everybody is talking about the wdc is won by the driver with the best car. Who hasn’t follow this rule? I follow F1 since 96 so there are not a lot of examples that come to my mind. Maybe Raikkonen in 2007 (arguably) and Schumi in 2000 (arguably too). And that’s it.

  13. Broom (@brum55) said on 1st November 2012, 20:23

    In 06 it was the best until the mass damper was removed and then it was Ferrari. I’d say it was 50:50 between the two.

    • stirper said on 1st November 2012, 20:39

      @brum55 you are right. But the point is over the year we can’t say Renault was the best…yeah right 50:50. I think in the second part Ferrari had a huge car advantage, in wet michelin was better….i still think Schumi should had won that one…

      p.s i had read some of your post and i really like your comments and your stats…just to know wich is your favorit team ore driver…dont tell me e.jordan pls…

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st November 2012, 20:55

    Another year, another championship to be decided between Alonso and Vettel. Two double world champions, and one of them will claim his third by the end of this season. I think Alonso vs Vettel can officially be called a ‘rivalry’ now, like Schumacher-Hakkinen and Senna-Prost. And if you look at it like that, then it’s striking how much respect these two drivers have for each other in comparison with the two previously mentioned rivalries.

    This has some advantages, and some disadvantages. The main drawback is that there isn’t a story behind the championship, something that makes an F1 season stand out from all the others. However, this does mean that we have two drivers that try to prove that they have been the best this season. Therefore both drivers have had a fantastic season: both have not made many mistakes and always remained focussed on winning the championship. If we add Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen (and hopefully Perez next year) to this list, I’m sure we will look back at the early 2010s as a golden era of Formula 1.

    Having said that, I’m a bit worried that not many seem to appreciate it: for instance the constant crowning of Adrian Newey as the 2012 driver’s champion. Please people, enjoy the last three races and try to watch the race unbiased.

  15. Michael Brown (@) said on 1st November 2012, 21:52

    As this is a Vettel discussion there is always the complaint that he can`t win from the front. Why is this brought up? Because it is always relevant no matter what the discussion is about Vettel, somehow. Recently I found a blog with some facts about all the champions and greats and their wins and podiums relative to their starting position. And guess what? All of the drivers achieved almost all of their wins from the top 4. Also, the results of F1 in the decades before are skewed, because reliability was so common that backmarkers could get surprise podiums.

    http://f1stats.blog.com/2011/09/18/winning-from-the-front/
    Some interesting trivia from there:
    * Juan Manuel Fangio has never finished on a Grand Prix podium if he didn’t start from the first two rows.
    * Alain Prost won 8 races starting from pos. 5, 6 or 7; he only won 2 races starting lower.
    * Ayrton Senna only won 2 races starting lower than the second row, and finished on the podium only 6 times not starting in the top 6.
    * Out of his many wins, Michael Schumacher won only 6 races starting lower than the second row, and finished on the podium only 9 times not starting in the top 6.
    * Fernando Alonso won only 3 races starting outside the top 4.
    *Of the 392 combined race wins of these drivers, only 41 (less than 1 in 9) were not won by starting in the top 4.
    *Of the 193 combined race wins of the modern day drivers, only 18 (less than 1 in 10) were not won by starting in the top 4.
    *Of the 795 combined podium finishes of these drivers, only 97 (less than 1 in 8 ) were not achieved by starting in the top 6.
    *Of the 440 combined podium finishes of the modern day drivers, only 42 (less than 1 in 10) were not achieved by starting in the top 6.

    • I am not at all surprised by these statistics @lite992 as usually if the car is capable of a podium the best drivers will qualify on the first two rows. Some great statistics though!

    • Drop Valencia! said on 1st November 2012, 23:05

      Excellent data, it shows the reason vettel never wins from a low grid spot, is because if it qualifies low, the car is slow!

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 2nd November 2012, 4:39

      It’s a matter of perception. Think about it – there is always a great come-from-behind drive that the great drivers will be remembered for in their careers. Cases in point:

      Prost – Suzuka 1987
      Mansell – Silverstone 1988
      Senna – Donington 1993
      Schumacher – Spa 1995
      Raikkonen – Suzuka 2005
      Hamilton – Monaco 2008
      Alonso – Valencia 2012

      Does Vettel already have such a drive in his CV? As much as I try to think of one, I can’t. It’s not totally his fault – he’s had a great car most of the time. But in times where he didn’t have such a great car (Middle of 2010, First half of 2012), he hasn’t really come up with such a drive.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 2nd November 2012, 4:40

        @lite992 Forgot to tag you. :)

      • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 2nd November 2012, 8:52

        Well, for one, all those drives save for Alonso were in great cars, so blaming Vettel for not doing it in a not-so-great car, is kind of moot.

        Which brings up Alonso; Valencia 2012 was one of luck, not of skill. If Button had issues in Spa, it would have been the exact same scenario. The difference between Valencia and Spa is not that Alonso had more skill, which gave him the win. He had more luck, which gave him the win. They both showed great skill, which put them in the place to capitalize on luck; Alonso had it (safety car to close the gap, bad McLaren pit stop, 2 alternator faillures), Vettel didn’t. And if you want great drives from behind even if they didn’t result in wins, you might add 4 Toro Rosso-races to that list.

      • crr917 (@crr917) said on 2nd November 2012, 9:00

        @journeyer

        Alonso – Valencia 2012

        So if Button had an alternator failure in Spa Vettel would have made it in the list of the great? awesome

        • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 2nd November 2012, 17:03

          @mnmracer What races would those be? Can’t seem to remember them… No, really. There’s a reason Perez is getting a lot of hype, and Ricciardo/Vergne aren’t – even if they seem to be producing the same drives.

          @crr917 One big difference – Grosjean got passed by Alonso in Valencia – with an in-and-out maneuver too, if I recall correctly. Grosjean took out Vettel’s rivals (5 of them in fact) in Spa. In effect, Vettel only needed to pass 5 cars – of which he passed 4. Alonso in Valencia, by contrast, was already 3rd even before the safety car came out – having passed a total of 8 cars. So even if Vettel’s alternator hadn’t failed, his drive to 2nd would still be much more impressive than Vettel’s drive to 2nd in Spa IMO.

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